Flint and thatch... sparkling rivers and broads, rolling fields and meadows, Norfolk is far from flat... popular seaside resorts and harbours - and rich in local colour and dialect.

Now let’s have a look at some more Norfolk words and expressions, taking us from mardle to putting on parts – see what you make of these!

Just to give you a clue about the first – it’s something the old Sheringham fishermen used to do (perhaps they still do!) under the Town Clock on a Sunday morning!

You seem to have done quite well so far, otherwise you wouldn’t be as far as this, would you?


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Mardle To gossip, or chat: Also, another name for a pond!
Marl Chalk: Dug out of pits and used as fertiliser on fields.
Master, masterous An expression of admiration: “Thass a master good crop o’ tearters.” Or: “Thass a masterous job yew're mearde o’ that there fence.”
Masterpiece Anything amazing or astonishing.
Mawkin A scarecrow: See: The Merry Mawkin.
Mawther Girl or a woman: Sometimes ‘Maw’.
Mellow Ripe.
Misery Aches and pains: “That apple pie gev me misery in my stommick.”
Mite Small, or a little bit: “I ent a mite hungry.”
Mob, mobbed To tell off, scold, or take to task: “I hoolly mobbed that boy when his ball cem in my gaard'n.’
Mow in Join in, help out: “I spuz yew want me tuh mow in with the washin-up, dorn’t yew, Maw?”
Muckwash Sweat, sweating profusely.


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Nasty-particular Fussy, over particular.
Nonicking Horseplay.


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Old Year’s Night New Year’s Eve.
Ollands Old grassland, ploughed for first time.


Dialect word(s) Meaning
Pamment Pavement.
Pample To tread lightly or quietly.
Pearks Gadgets, new-fangled things, inventions.
Peerking Nosing around, looking for something.
Pightle A paddock.
Pingle To play with your food.
Pishamire An ant.
Pod Belly, gut: “All that sluss, he’s got a pod on him!”
Pollywiggle A tadpole.
Primmicky Affected, difficult to please.
Puckaterry In a muddle, or a bit of a temper.
Push A boil, or large spot.
Putting on parts Misbehaving, drawing attention to oneself: “Thass no good yew a-puttin on yar parts, cors yew ent heving any coshies an thass final!”

Are you starting to get the picture? Ready for more? If so click the link to
Q–T and carry on, my ol’ bewty, you're doing mast’rously well!

Lost in Translation; read about the Norfolk Schools Dialect Project.
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